Smart plugs are an underrated category in the smart home world. While they may not be as sexy as smart displays or color-changing light panels, they’re a quick and affordable way to bring on/off automation to devices that wouldn’t otherwise have it. The Amazon Smart Plug is meant to fit the bill for anyone decking out an Alexa-based smart home, and may be a default purchase for many people picking up Echo speakers. Find out if it’s worth adding to your collection in this Amazon Smart Plug review.
What you need to know about the Amazon Smart Plug
- Amazon Smart Plug: $24.99 / £24.99 / €24.99 / Rs. 1,999.00
Amazon is pretty upfront about the Smart Plug’s focus: it’s built exclusively for Alexa. It doesn’t support Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit, or even standards like Zigbee or Z-Wave. You explicitly need the Alexa app for Android, iPhone, or iPad to connect it to your Wi-Fi network. This association is so close that if you shop for a speaker like the fourth-generation Echo, Amazon markets the Smart Plug as an add-on “accessory.”
The smart plug is indoor-only and operates on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. While 5GHz is favorable for more advanced smart home tech, 2.4GHz is fine in this instance as the smart plug doesn’t need a lot of bandwidth and it ensures longer range coverage.
Check out: The best Alexa-compatible devices for your home
Depending on where you live, the exact form factor of the product may vary due to alternate power standards. Our review unit was a bar-shaped North American model with 120VAC input and a maximum 15 amp output — that capacity can shrink to as little as 6 amps in India, limiting the appliances that will work with it.
Amazon Smart Plug is available from Amazon (of course) and comes in a single color option: white.
The Smart Plug lives up to Amazon’s promises of easy installation. It goes into pairing mode the moment you plug it in for the first time, and when I opened the Devices tab in the Alexa app, I got a pop-up offering to guide me through the setup process, including adding it to a room group for easier voice control. The most involved things got was scanning a QR code, and editing the plug’s name to be something other than “First Plug.” Don’t worry — if you lose the QR code, you can always add (or re-add) the plug by holding down its power button until the LED starts flashing, then using the Alexa app’s manual addition process.
See also: How to use Amazon Alexa